Friday, June 29, 2012

#FlannelFriday: Five Little Bats

This week, I was looking for a simple flannel set to use during my nocturnal animals story time. My books were about honey badgers and raccoons, so I wanted another nighttime animal. A quick search of Pinterest led me to the bats that Miss Meghan from Busy Crafting Mommy made. I liked hers and they looked simple enough to make.

I was able to locate a coloring sheet similar to the one she used. (I love that you can just type in "bat coloring page" to Google Image Search and find what you're looking for.) I cut my bats from black belt and outlined them with silver puff paint. I don't think it's my best work with puff paint, but they'll do. I've got a couple of rhymes found on various story time sites to use with them.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ballerina Swan by Allegra Kent

Sophie is a swan who wants to dance. A young ballet instructor gives her a chance. Sophie turns out to be quite good at ballet and gets the prize role in a recital.

What I thought: Such a sweet book. Sophie is a lovable character. The illustrations are nice. My favorite is Sophie practicing her moves. Hand this to the young dancers at your library. Ballerina Swan would pair well with Brontorina by James Howe, The Jellybeans and the Big Dance by Laura Numeroff, and Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet by Jane O'Connor. I will definitely be adding this to my display at Fancy Nancy Parties.

(Illus. Emily Arnold McCully. Holiday House, 2012)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

More by I. C. Springman

Magpies like to collect things. This magpie gets more and more until it's just too much. With the help of some mice friends, the magpie purges his collection and is left with just enough stuff.

What I thought: First, I love the sparse text. It gives you time to peruse the illustrations. I can't wait to use this in story time. I know my kids will like to identify all the magpie's stuff and count the nests. The illustrations are lovely. I could look at them again and again. My favorites are something, enough! and Yes, enough.

(Illus. Brian Lies. Houghton Mifflin, 2012)

Monday, June 25, 2012

SRP Week 1 Reflection

I survived! The first week of the Summer Reading Program at my four libraries wasn't too horrible. I was just really tired by the end of the week. I presented 17 programs with an attendance of 358. The programs were mostly preschool story times and school age events. I also had 1 teen event this week. My system uses the Collaborative Summer Library Program's theme. As you know, the children's theme this year is "Dream Big--Read!" and the teen theme is "Own the Night."

Everything went smoothly with preschool story time. I was overwhelmed at one library with 36 kids (ages 0-5) and 21 adults in 1 story time. That's 16 more than my biggest attendance last year. I'll be more prepared this week for the large attendance.

Day camps from the local schools bring groups to the library for the Summer Reading Program Events. Last year was the first time I'd dealt with such groups. I'm pleased to say that this year is off to a rousing start. When I have an hour with the kids, I try to read from a chapter book, discuss the topic (in a nonfiction sort of way), have a craft for the kids to do, and a game for them to play. When I only have 30 minutes, we do the reading, discussion, and game. I send them home with a coloring or drawing sheet. At three of my libraries, the damp camp groups are combined with the community. Next year, I plan to separate this groups. I think the day camp kids overwhelm the community kids. In separating the groups next year, I hope to see better attendance from the community.

I had fun with the teen event. It required very little planning and prep on my part because I found in on the California Library Association's Summer Reading Page. It was presented at their SRP workshop. The original program plan had 8 different activities. I had 3 teens show up, but they could only stay for an hour (play practice) so I modified and we did 5 of the 8 activities. The wild animal vaccination challenge required the use of dart guns. I'll never purchase them at Dollar Tree again. They were defective. The teens ended up just throwing the darts at the animals.

This year, I'm doing something familiar to me, but something that hasn't been done in my system for a long time. For each age group, I have set a small reading goal. When they meet their goal at the end of the program, they get a certificate and are entered in a grand prize drawing. For the 0-2 age, I'm trying out the Rubber Ducky Club that I heard about from Marge Loch-Wouters on her blog Tiny Tips for Library Fun. Kids also receive a small prize at the end of each program they attend.

This next week will be as busy as the last. I have 18 programs. Again, it's mostly preschool story times and school age events. I also have a teen program and a tween program this week.

Friday, June 22, 2012

#FlannelFriday: Five Little Owls

Katie from Story Time Katie first alerted me to a template for felt owls. I have crocheted owl magnets (use a modified pattern I found online) that I have been using for story time, but these felt owls were so cute I knew I wanted to make them. Using Katie's link I went to Leah at Sunflower Storytime and used her template to make my owls. I think I might make another set in the future using either earth tones or more natural colors. I have several "Five Little Owls" rhymes that I used with these during this week's owl story time (my first week of summer reading...only 7 more to go!)

As an added bonus to this post, here's a picture of my crocheted owl magnets:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale by Carmen Agra Deedy & Randall Wright

Skilley is the perfect cat to be mouser at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. He's a cat with a secret. When Pip (a Cheshire Cheese mouse) discovers his secret, the unlikely allies become friends. They work together to save first the British Empire and then the mice from Skilley's nemesis Pinch.

What I thought: This was a delightful book. I wasn't sure about reading it, but once I got started I was hooked. The setting and characters are unique. I liked the cameo appearances by famous authors. Incidentally, A Tale of Two Cities is my least favorite book by Dickens. I was forced to read it as a high school sophomore. My favorite scene was Too welcoming Skilley to the inn. The Cheshire Cheese Cat could be one of my favorite animal fantasies. It's right up there with Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.

(Illus. Barry Moser. Peachtree, 2011)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It: False Apology Poems by Gail Carson Levine

Summary from Inspired by William Carlos Williams’s famous poem ”This Is Just to Say,” Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine delivers a wickedly funny collection of her own false apology poems, imagining how tricksters really feel about the mischief they make. Matthew Cordell’s clever and playful line art lightheartedly captures the spirit of the poetry. This is the perfect book for anyone who’s ever apologized . . . and not really meant it.

What I thought: I remember studying William Carlos Williams' poetry in college. The red wheelbarrow poem stood out more to me than the apology poem, but I like what Levine has done with it. The sprinkling of fairy tale characters was nice. I might even try writing one of my own. My favorite poems are Sleeping Beauty, Jack's cow, Rapunzel, and the Princess and the pea. I'm making a copy of the authors introduction and try my hand at false apology poem soon. It might be fun to be wicked...on paper at least!

(Illus. Matthew Cordell. Harper, 2012)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

About Habitats: Oceans by Cathryn Sill

A simple, informative introduction to oceans for children (and adults).

What I thought: This is the first book in the About Habitats series I've read, but I've read several of the About...series by Cathyrn and John Sill. Oceans is just great. What I like most is that it's simple enought to share with preschoolers, but the afterward provides adiitional information that will appeal to older children. John's illustrations are so beautiful. My favorites are the blackwing flying fish, green sea turtle, and leafy sea dragon.

(Illus. John Sill. Peachtree, 2012)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Here Come the Girl Scouts by Shana Corey

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts, Shana Corey introduces us to its founder, Juliette Gordon Low. She had gumption!

What I thought: This book made me want to join the Girls Scouts even though I'm much too old. I've always been fascinated by the organization. It was nice to learn more. When I was 14, I visited the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace. This book made that past experience even more real for me. Hadley Hooper's illustrations are lovely. The colors are great and I love the bold black lines. If I ever have a daughter, I want her to be a Girl Scout.

(Illus. Hadley Hooper. Scholastic, 2012)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hans My Hedgehog retold by Kate Coombs

Born to parents who desperately wanted a child, Hans is half hedgehog and half boy. He plays the fiddle, rides a rooster and keeps a herd of pigs. His differences drive him to live alone in the forest. Promises from kings mean brides for Hans, but can they free him from his hedgehog self?

What I thought: I'd never heard of this tale. I keep resolving at intervals to read all of Grimm's Fairy Tales, but I never quite manage it and "Hans My Hedgehog" is towards the end. I liked this retelling, especially Kate's word choice. This would be a lovely story to read aloud. It reminded me of the story of Beauty and the Beast. As first, I didn't care for the illustrations, but then they grew on me. The colors are quite striking. The author's note was nice. Kate is upfront about the changes she's made to the story. As always, I read the original tale. I agree with the changes she made.

(Illus. John Nickle. Atheneum, 2012)